Ben had a birthday recently, so we went to Edohana for lunch. It wasn’t nearly as crowded as I thought it would be during lunch time. There was a big group of guys finishing up at one hibachi grill, so Ben and I got to sit at our own. That was cool since we both usually just get vegetable fried rice and hibachi veggies – no grilled meat smell lingering in my hair for hours afterwards! Lunch was fine and as expected with good food, good service, and, of course, good company.
Our waitress, Sue, was a very chatty Japanese woman. The manager (owner?) was friendly and joked around with us, but we mostly talked to Sue. She had questions and comments about everything. The longer we stayed, the longer our exchanges became. She asked if we were vegan, if we ever ate any meat, gave us speeches about how good vegetables are for you, how most of the people that eat there eat too much meat, and eventually asked if we go to church. If it sounds like she was being rude and pushy, let me assure you that Sue was quite pleasant and polite.
I really didn’t think anything of it until later on in the day. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to hearing those speeches and prodding questions from my mom’s Asian friends or if it’s because I’m used to hearing those speeches and prodding questions from everyone and her grandma in The South, but it seemed like perfectly acceptable behavior from a waitress. If some other waitress had tried to start those conversations, I may have been offended and ended the talking right away, but Sue seemed so well-meaning and sweet about it. Her accent definitely softened her tone, which is something my mom has used to her advantage many a time.
I suppose the moral of this story is that if you preach to people, make sure that you mean well, your speech is complimenting to your audience, you have a sweet accent, and that you feed your audience with yummy food that both puts them at ease and shuts them up for the duration of your speech.